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<big>''[[Coccinia grandis]]'' (L.) Voigt</big>
:Protologue: Hort. suburb. Calc.: 59 (1854).
== Synonyms ==
''Bryonia'' ''grandis'' L. (1767), ''Coccinia
'' ''indica'' Wight & Arnott (1834), ''C. '' ''cordifolia'' (auct. non L.) Cogn. (1881).
== Vernacular names ==
== Origin and geographic distribution ==
The genus ''Coccinia'' Wight & Arnott with about 30 species is confined to tropical Africa, with the exception of ''C.
'' ''grandis,'' which occurs wild from Africa to the Indo-Malaysian region. It is cultivated mainly in India, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
== Uses ==
== Properties ==
Per 100 g edible portion, the fruits contain: water 94 g, protein 1-2 g, fat 0.1 g, carbohydrates 3.1 g, traces of vitamin A, vitamin B<sub>1</sub>0.07 mg, vitamin B<sub>2</sub>0.08 mg, niacin 0.7 mg, vitamin C 15 mg, Ca 40 mg, Fe 1.4 mg, P 30 mg. The energy value is 72-90 kJ/100 g.
The leaves are a good source of protein (3.3-4.9 g), minerals and vitamins, in particular vitamin A (8000-18 000 IU).
== Description ==
A perennial, dioecious, climbing or trailing herb up to 20 m long with tuberous roots. Stem green and longitudinally ribbed when young, becoming white-spotted when older and eventually woody and subterete; tendrils simple, usually one per node, in stipular position. Leaves simple, alternate, with petiole of 1-5 cm; leaf-blade broadly ovate to subpentagonal or orbicular in outline, 3-12 cm × 3-15 cm, shallowly to deeply palmately 3-5-lobed, cordate at base, margin entire or sinuate and often with distinct reddish glandular teeth, glabrous, punctate. Male flowers axillary, solitary or paired, rarely 3-4 in a short raceme; pedicel 0.7-7 cm long; receptacle tubular, 3-7 mm long; sepals 5, linear, up to 6 mm long; corolla campanulate, yellow-orange, green veined, 5-lobed, lobes up to 2 cm × 1.5 cm; staminal column 6 mm long. Female flowers axillary, solitary; pedicel up to 2.5 cm long; receptacle, calyx and corolla as in male flowers; ovary cylindrical, up to 1.5 cm long, style 3 mm long, stigma 3-lobed, each lobe 2-lobed. Fruit baccate, ellipsoid or rarely spherical, 3-7 cm × 1-3.5 cm, fleshy, green with white stripes when young, turning red at mturity; fruit stalk up to 4 cm long. Seed asymmetrically pyriform in outline, compressed, 6 mm × 3 mm × 1.5 mm, margin rather thick and grooved, testa fibrillose.
== Other botanical information ==
== Agronomy ==
Ivy gourd is the only cucurbit usually propagated by stem cuttings, 10-15 cm in length and 0.5 cm in diameter, which are planted in well-manured planting holes, spaced 1.5-2 m apart. Propagation by seed is also possible but little practised because of the dioecious nature of ivy gourd (50% non-productive male plants). A ratio of 1 : 10 male to female plants is considered adequate for pollination purposes. Ivy gourd is usually grown with a trellis support, or trained over fences or roofs in home gardens. The cultural practices and pest control of ivy gourd and bitter gourd ( ''Momordica charantia'' L.) are very similar.
Foliar diseases include anthracnose ( ''Colletotrichum'' sp.), powdery mildew ( ''Erysiphe
'' ''cichoracearum'' ) and downy mildew ( ''Pseudoperonospora '' ''cubensis'' ), but there is little information on the extent of damage. Pests of ivy gourd are aphids ( ''Aphis'' spp.), red pumpkin beetle ( ''Aulacophora'' sp.) and fruit flies ( ''Dacus'' spp.).
Individual plant yields are in the order of 10 kg of immature fruits per year. However, ivy gourd is often primarily grown as a leafy vegetable. Young shoots wilt rapidly and should be marketed and consumed soon after harvest.
== Genetic resources and breeding ==
'' ''grandis'' is only sparsely represented in the germplasm collections of some Indian research institutes. The selection work in India has resulted in several attractive sweet cultivars.
== Prospects ==
== Literature ==
* Bates, D.M., Robinson, R.W. & Jeffrey, C. (Editors), 1990. Biology and utilization of the Cucurbitaceae. Comstock, Cornell University Press, Syracuse, New York, United States. p. 21.
* Ramachandran, K. & Subramaniam, B., 1983. Scarlet gourd, Coccinia grandis, little-known tropical drug plant. Economic Botany 37(4): 380-383.
* Tindall, H.D., 1983. Vegetables in the tropics. MacMillan, London, United Kingdom. pp. 152-154.
== Authors ==
T. Boonkerd, B. Na Songkhla & W. Thephuttee